When I was around 5-6 years of age, my grandma was sewing a pair of shorts for me. I remember her telling me to stand on the rug beside her sewing machine so I could try on the shorts when she got the elastic waistband sewn. This was the first time I had seen a sewing machine being used and I was absolutely fascinated! I started asking my grandma a lot of questions about sewing. I instantly knew I wanted to learn how to work this machine. My grandma thought I was too young, but I was adamant to learn how to use this machine. With my persistence she finally gave in. She brought over sewing cards for me to start with. When I saw those sewing cards, I remember wanting to throw them across the room, but I complied by lacing up the sewing cards before my grandma left and asked her again, when could I learn to use the sewing machine? She knew then that I wasn’t going to stop asking. The next day she came over with some scrap fabrics from her stash and we sat down at the sewing machine to learn the basics. A few days later my grandma stopped by to see my progress. She was amazed with the doll clothes that I made just by wrapping the fabric around the doll taking in a seam here and there to get the garment to fit the doll. When my grandma started asking me questions, she realized back then that I was into designing with my sewing.
I continued to sew or do needlework throughout the years. Once my kids all graduated from high school, I decided to take up quilting. I had started making a couple of quilts in earlier years but never finished them. Life got in the way. Then my oldest nephew was graduating from high school and I decided that I would make him a quilt for his graduation gift. As I started sewing the quilt I thought of the things I wanted to say to him as he went on with his life as an adult. I used fabrics and quilt blocks that helped with my message. I wrote a letter to go with the quilt explaining why I chose the fabrics and the quilt block that I did. I did the same for my other nephews and niece. They all said that the greatest gift was the letter they received. The quilt was the constant reminder of what was said. A gift to be treasured.
I always showed the quilts that I made at our local quilt guild and after showing my quilts, the other quilters would always come up to me after the guild meeting to compliment me on my quilt. I noticed that this didn’t happen very often with other quilters at guild. I even had a well known quilt designer that was a guest speaker at our quilt guild meeting tell me that I gave her inspiration with my quilt. This got me thinking. I wondered if I had something in quilting that I was unaware of? I then decided to put my quilting to the test. I designed and sewed a Quilt of Valor quilt and submitted photos of it to Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. My friends said not to get too excited as it could take 3-6 months before they get back to you if they were interested. The magazine called me in less than 24 hours stating they wanted to publish my quilt! My quilt, “Album Star” (pictured on the left) was published in the May/June 2017 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. This quilt was also featured on the web-based TV show “Quilt Remix” where the show’s host, Kelly Bowser and another quilt celebrity, Nancy Mahoney made two more quilts using my quilt as inspiration. This quilt also got to tour in the “Original Sewing & Quilt Expo” quilt show throughout the Eastern & Midwest parts of the United States. After all this, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the rest of my working years other than doing what I love…. designing quilts! I just hope you enjoy my patterns as much as I had designing them.